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  • Writer's pictureJessica Feinstein

The New Jersey connection: part 2

I wanted to write a bit more about the Feinstein family’s connection to New Jersey, having recently discovered some interesting newspaper records which give us a lot of information about their lives.

Ari’s 4x great-grandfather Isaac (Itsik) Abram Feinstein and his wife Sheva (Sophia) Brenner lived in Liepaja, Latvia, and had seven or eight children. Their first daughter, Johanna or Jennie, was born in Liepaja in 1864. Johanna married Louis Solomon in Liepaja in about 1887 and their children were all born there. They then emigrated to New Jersey in about 1905, in time to appear in the 1910 census. This census tells us that they had had eight children but only six were still living. The US census also tells us that they spoke Yiddish and English.

I have only found the passenger record of the children, who sailed alone from Liepaja to New York on the SS Petersburg in December 1906. The oldest, Esther, was 17, and the youngest, Meyer, was 7. The ship record says that their fare had been paid by their mother and that they had no money. They said that they were going to join their father at 1584 Madison Avenue, New York.

In 1918, Louis Solomon and his son Meyer and daughter Bessie were involved in a “murderous attack” on a police magistrate after a dispute with a customer:

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Asbury Park Press, 15 Aug 1918, page 1.

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Asbury Park Press, 16 Aug 1918, page 2.

And then a newspaper account I found from 1920 described a horrible accident involving Lewis and Meyer:

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Asbury Park Press, 3 Jan 1920, page 1.

In 1923, one of Louis and Johanna’s daughters, Molly, died of an embolism in Sioux City, Iowa. The death record confirms details of her parents:

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Iowa, Death Records, 1920–1940,

Apart from the US census records, the city directories are very helpful. Here are Louis and Johanna in Asbury Park, New Jersey, in 1924, with son Meyer:

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U.S. City Directories, 1822–1995,

Meyer died in 1925 of heart failure, in his twenties.

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Asbury Park Press, 13 July 1925, page 2.

Louis Solomon was advertising in the Asbury Park Press in 1929:

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Asbury Park Press, 25 May 1929, page 12.

When Johanna died in July 1932, there was an obituary in The Daily Record, which made a mistake with her place of birth:

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The Daily Record, 8 July 1932, page 3,

This allowed me to find her grave at Chesed Shel Ames Hebrew Cemetery in New Jersey (see for a photo).

I wonder how much contact there was between this branch and the siblings who went to South Africa. I know that Johanna’s oldest son, Sheftel (Cecil) was sent to South Africa at 15 to avoid having to serve for sixteen years in the Russian army, and he went to join her brother Aaron.

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Asbury Park Press, 29 June 1910, page 2.

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